Iceland has always captivated me; often beckoning me to explore its wonders. The island country is a landscape photographer’s dream with its stunning fjords, thermal geysers, abundant waterfalls, glaciers, and ice lagoons. On this day torrential rains forced us into a tent shelter. After eight hours the downpour ceased, providing us a window to move on toward Jokulsarlon, the iconic ice lagoon. My eye was quickly drawn to this iconic church nestled within the amazing context of a clearing storm. In an instant I was flooded by images of my favorite Dutch Masters landscapes. The light was changing quickly and the storm moved rapidly, affording me little time and margin of error before harsh sunlight would erase this precious image. All the necessary components aligned and Divine Light was born, presenting the hopeful gift of a new dawn or the dark threat of an approaching storm.
San Antonio based photographer Aubra Franklin has spent the past decade traveling the world in pursuit of magical moments, a spectacular sensation he calls soul light. His majestic images of landscapes are not only the result of perfect timing, exotic locales, and expert compositions, but reveal the photographer’s keen sense of space and depth. As a professionally trained architect, Aubra sees beyond flora and fauna in a beautiful landscape. Thirty years of experience designing and building have informed his distinct perspective on natural phenomena and epic destinations. As a student he became engrossed in architectural photography and over the years gradually expanded his repertoire beyond illustrious monuments and celebrated buildings to include images of magnificent seascapes and idyllic woodlands. Much like an architect meticulously visualizes his design long before pencil is put to paper, Aubra visualizes how a particular sight and feeling will appear on a print, to capture billowing clouds and towering canyons. Through his lens a grove of flowering trees becomes a collection of grandiose columns and cornices. Aubra’s diverse portfolio ranges from photographs of remote Croatian waterfalls to the soaring Maroon Bells Mountains. His travels have allowed him to capture the serendipity of a perfect sunrise in Utah’s Canyonlands, and the serenity of ships at sea near the Galapagos Islands. Each trip provides viewers with the opportunity to witness Aubra’s vision of landscapes as natural architecture and to experience the mysterious wonders of nature. Aubra’s work has been regarded as, “exemplary in both composition and spirit,” by his private collectors, which range from entrepreneurial moguls and cattle barons to creative directors and curators. His limited-series works have attracted much attention, with collectors vying for multiple pieces. “I’m not surprised by the desire for Aubra’s work,” says mentor and friend, Jeff Mitchum. “In architecture, you have to be spot on.